Are Naturist Families Allowed to Photograph Their Children While They Are Nude?

naturist-families-allowed-photograph-children-nude Credit: Hal Bergman Photography/Moment/Getty Images

Families that photograph their children in the nude, regardless of affiliation with any social or political movement, risk criminal liability under child pornography laws, according to FindLaw. The law defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor under the age of 18.

There remains debate on both the federal and state levels as to what constitutes "sexually explicit." Some states, such as Massachusetts, extend their child pornography laws to any material depicting a nude minor in any way, states FindLaw. Other states, such as South Carolina, leave a judge or jury to decide if content is pornographic based on the material's content.

The definition of "sexually explicit" does not require that the child depicted in the image be engaged in sexual activity, explains the U.S. Department of Justice. A picture of a naked child may constitute illegal child pornography if it is sufficiently sexually suggestive. There is no religious, cultural or social group that is exempt from these laws, and it is wise to exercise caution when photographing any child not wearing clothing.